New to the forum...Does diet really help?

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Ontario_Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/20/2008 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone...

I've had UC for around 5 years now, and am currently in a major flare-up after over a year of no symptoms... mad
I haven't had a colonoscopy since I was diagnosed 5 years ago, but at the time I was diagnosed with Proctitis.

I have the usual symptoms...nasty bleeding from the bum, urgency to go, tons of mucus (nice!), and stomach cramps and pains...

I have started to look at my diet to see if I can pin-point a reason for the latest flare-up, which coincidently happened right about the time I emmigrated to Canada from England! ( September this year). I don't consider myself to be stressed ( as I'm doing something I love, with the person I love, in my new country..which I love!)....so darn this flare-up!

I get quite scared when I see how much blood I pass....I hate to imagine what my insides look like. I'm only 29, so feel I've got a lot of life to live and don't want this to hold me back...

I've decided to try gluton free foods...and I've changed to Soy milk too to see if that helps. However, I've heard that diet doesn't affect those with UC...is this true?!???? ( I really love my spicey foods, and don't want to give them up! I don't smoke, don't drink much...I've got to have some comfort in life, eh?!)
Female
Diagnosed with UC in 2003 (aged 24)
Asacol 6-8 oral tabs daily
Pentasa Suppositories
Flora-Smart Extra Strength Probiotics
Green Tea
Attempting low gluten....but struggling! Also love too much sugar..


katkat
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 238
   Posted 12/20/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello new member Ontario-Girl from a fellow Ontarian. Welcome!

I've had UC since 2000, and just now having my 3rd flare. Seems to happen every four years?! As Christine1946 suggested to me, try a low residue diet, check on internet for suggestions on it. But I found it definitely helped me. Yes, it is very boring, boring bland food, but it seems to agree for the most part. Sounds like the spicy foods might be doing that to you as well, (I still love them as but have to stay away otherwise bad bathroom action for a day or two). I still make very boring chicken soups, boneless, skinless chicken, I try to get protein. I am still trying out various items to eat. But for me, it was trial and error for the longest while. Also, yes, I know, sounds also boring, but try slowing down on sugar, I found that it helped me as well. also the drinking part might do that as well, I used to love my 2 or 3 beer on weekends but haven't had any yet.

Yes, it is very scary to see what comes out, I get like that too, it is still happening too but not as much these days. And yes, we all have a life to live, but we have to find the balance to get our bodies to keep working. With Asacol, I found that keeping a schedule to take it played a very big part in slowing this UC. Before, I kept missing the time to take it and would vary. (ie., supposed to be 2 pills at 1 & 7 o'clock but would forget or be sleeping) Now I used alarm clocks at home to remind me. I haven't bought a watch yet to set with 2 alarms.

I couldn't help but notice you're taking Flora-Smart Extra Strength Probiotics, mine is still in the fridge at the moment although I purchased it about three weeks ago, how is working for you, if you don't mind me asking? I see in the fridge but haven't the "guts" to try it yet! (bad joke?, LOL)
44 yrs old, only 3rd experience with flare-up start oct29.08, Ont.Canada.
current: asacol 400 mg - 2 4x/day
                          
last flare in 2004 with c-diff, went into shock, hospitalized 2 wks, rec'd transfusion
prednisone, asacol, metronidazole
 
in 2000 rec'd antibiotics(sinuses),c-diff,ulcerative colitis 
 


Ontario_Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/20/2008 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KitKat!

Thanks so much for the reply...this forum is wonderful, and I can't believe that I didn't find it sooner!

I'm going to look up low residue diets too....I must admit, I can give up the alcohol (and have cut out all beer...just have the odd glass of red wine now!), but giving up my favourite foods is a punishment to me! But after this flare up, I've got to try anything...

As for the Flora-Smart...well, to be honest I've only been taking them for 3 days...and so far, my stools have been great! (I can't believe I wrote that!). Not too much mucus, and very little blood...(at its worst, it just drips out and covers the toitlet bowl...urgh!). However, seeing as I've only been taking this probiotics for 3 days, I don't know if its them or whether I am starting to go into remission anyway....either way, I dont care, I just want it to stop!

Good to speak to a fellow Ontarian anyway!
Female
Diagnosed with UC in 2003 (aged 24)
Asacol 6-8 oral tabs daily
Pentasa Suppositories
Flora-Smart Extra Strength Probiotics
Green Tea
Attempting low gluten....but struggling! Also love too much sugar..


unclebubba
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 12/20/2008 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Gluten free has helped me.. AM in my first flare ( been 14 months ). Tried gluten free living, been that way 14 days and bathroom trips are at least in half. As for the occassional.... they make gluten free ones. Heineken doesn't advertise they are gluten free, but when contacted they said that their gluten livels were well below what the government states they must be to be gluten free. And Captain Morgan (rum) is gluten free. Captain and ginger alle is not bad together. My doc says these are okay and may even help (in moderation ) (a drink or 1-2 beers ) a day. Because alcohol is a numbing agent. I have to agree, as I stated in another forum... I believe they are helping me also. I can be having a horrible day... let me have that beer or drink, and my bathroom trips stop. And symptoms are no worse the next day. I'm sure though that each of our bodies is different. Some here may have had adverse reactions.
diagnosed in aug 2008
30 mg predisone, 9 balsalazide, rowesa enema, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera
gluten intolerance... attempting to live no/low gluten


Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5965
   Posted 12/20/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   

     Hi and welcome!  Gluton free diet did nothing for me.  I believe there is a test to see whether or not you are allergic to gluton and I am not.  A few years back I tried sticking to a gluton free diet and had my hubby purchase foods from a specific store which specializes in such foods.  The food was yukky and didn't help anyways.

      I see you take Asacol.  I have ulcerative proctitis also.  The GI doctor switched me from Asacol to Colazal (I take the generic form).  He explained that the Colazal breaks down further into the colon and treats proctitis better than the Asacol.  Another thing to try is the Cort enemas.  They worked for me, but then I was on mucho meds with this last flare...prednisone, 6MP, cort ememas, Canasa suppositories and Colazal.  Just on Colazal and 6MP at the present time...in remission..hoooraaah!!!  Low residue diet worked for me when I was able to eat....had a feeding tube in while in hospital.  Good luck!


62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/20/2008 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Since Colitis is an inflammation of the colon, I would recommend avoiding foods that are pro-inflammatory and eating foods that are anti-inflammatory (at least the ones that don't bother you). There is a good article about pro- and anti-inflammatory foods here:

http://nutrition.about.com/od/dietsformedicaldisorders/a/antiinflamfood.htm

Some people with Colitis (like me) can't handle fructose well, others can't handle lactose, and even others can't handle gluten. Keep a food diary to see what foods bother you. There is no reason to give up something if it's healthy and it doesn't bother you.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting

Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06

-------------------

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics (orally and up the but)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...


Ontario_Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/20/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, thanks to everyone who replied! Lots to think about now.....think I will have that Captain Morgan and Rum though, just to help me mull over things! he he ;-)
Female
Diagnosed with UC in 2003 (aged 24)
Asacol 6-8 oral tabs daily
Pentasa Suppositories
Flora-Smart Extra Strength Probiotics
Green Tea
Attempting low gluten....but struggling! Also love too much sugar..


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 12/20/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Spicy, I can do! Family find it hard to believe, but it's true.
But learning I should go gluten/wheat-free made a bid difference. Note that also sensitive to tomatoes, and Naturopath says I should not eat cheese(but I do, a little). Those are just some diet highlights. Otherwise, low fiber.

I recommend getting tested for food sensitivities, then you KNOW. It was $300, not covered by insurance.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete$$ probiotic powder at first, now Forte pills. Doing much better, but still having some bad days. 


unclebubba
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 12/20/2008 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
food allergies testin did't work for me. I tested okay for gluten. no ceeliac or what ever its called. But I swear I have an intolerance for it. Same with Dairy. Can't drink it. n bathroom in less than 20 minutes with major gut cramps. But testing said it was okay for me. Tomatoes are great for me. specially sauce... rice pasta with a GF sauce means a good day for me next day. Oranges are BAD. Cheese is okay no noticable diff. Spice is OUT for me. But then again some alcohols are okay for me... some even seem to help. Like today. I had a lots of urgency this afternnon ( took immodium to go hunting this morning about 5;30 am ) then was really bad about 8 pm. got to bar to work.... had two heinekins... and wow... cramps and urgency gone. And I KNOW i drinki to much but at same time... I can go days at home with none and no problems that way with my UC either. so I know this part is not in my mind. Alcohol helps my gut. I also know I can't wake up in morning and have a couple beers FIX my gut. LOL... darn
diagnosed in aug 2008
30 mg predisone, 9 balsalazide, rowesa enema, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera
gluten intolerance... attempting to live no/low gluten


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/21/2008 12:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Eating as healthy as possible and cutting way back on refined sugar (or cutting out all together) as well as animal fats, processed foods/beverages, fast-foods and caffeine can certainly have a positive impact on symptoms...taking a good probiotic daily and indefinitely as well as fibre supplements (also daily and indefinitely) can also bring relief.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 12/21/2008 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
As you can see, it's different for each person. I have never been able to tell that diet affects my UC. When flaring I avoided spicy and high-fiber foods; since I've been in remission I eat a normal healthy diet, basically whatever I want.

Be aware that too much fat in the diet can give anyone loose stools, so that's obviously something for everyone to avoid.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/21/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, different foods affect us differently. There does seem to be a common theme though. For some of us, food doesn't really matter. For others, we can't handle fructose, or lactose, or gluten. I can't handle fructose. Perhaps because I had so much high-fructose corn syrup in the past, too much for my body to handle that it now refuses to. Besides high-fructose corn syrup is relatively new. It's not something that our bodies are used to digesting. It was not until the 1970s that manufacturers began substituting it for cane sugar. Silly me, seeing "corn" in the label thought it was better than cane.

I'm not gluten-sensitive, and fiber is good for the colon. So I make sure I get plenty of fiber in my diet. I know there are quite a few people who have Colitis that are gluten-sensitive. But what about vegetables? Can you eat those? There are a lot of vegetables that are high in fiber. Can you eat them when you have a flare? When you don't have a flare?
Joy - 47 yrs and counting

Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06

-------------------

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics (orally and up the but)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30603
   Posted 12/21/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Diet can help with comfort.....

Common sense goes a long way...I cannot stress that enough. Know the actual of actions of the foods, but remember that people without UC have symptoms of discomfort from food from improving constipation, motility and diarrhea.

Balance your food intake with supplements if you're cutting out important nutrients. Try not to think that everything you put into your mouth is bad....but I will suggest you go easy on the alcohol intake. Its effects affect the entire body.

Many of us are lactose intolerant...makes sense to not drink milk if you have discomfort after having milk products.

Make sure you take your meds...

q
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


unclebubba
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 12/21/2008 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with the alcohol in moeration thing specially. AM not suggesting we go out and get drunk all the time. But if a couple beers or a drink a day helps, then enjoy them. Or at least have the ability to enjoy a beverage in a social situation. And I'm sure there are some of us who just can't handle the alcohol at all anymore. In this instance I think I am one of the lucky ones.
As for the earlier question... I notice No difference in my diet with veggies. Except salads. Salads are bad for me. But raw carrotts or green peppers don't seem to change me much. Of course I am still in my intial flare. Getting better. but not in remission YET. LOL. Still hopin though. I just try to live by the symptoms day by day. Something helps... then I make note of it. SOmething makes things worse then I make BIG note of that.
diagnosed in aug 2008
30 mg predisone, 9 balsalazide, rowesa enema, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera
gluten intolerance... attempting to live no/low gluten


kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 12/21/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   

Once again quincy is so right!  Food does not cause UC or flares BUT it sure can make them FEEL worse.  My NP suggested bland, low residue food while flaring including lowfat and low fiber.  Since I have had IBS for years there is a lot that bothers me as it does others who don't have UC.  When you find something that makes you feel worse write it down - stay away from it.  Same with what you can handle.  I found peanut butter is fine for me and use it to get the protein I need.  Eating small amounts of food throughout the day (grazing) has helped me a lot!

My doctor tested me for celiac and latose intolerance and I am fine.

Good luck!  ElaineNY


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only 2 cm. left to heal in rectum - going to try Proctofoam first.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
Close to remission -spoke too soon!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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